Autonomous technology and its effect on the transport industry

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Along with electric motor technology, which has really taken huge leaps forward over the last few years with companies like Tesla really driving it forward, autonomous tech in cars has started to be seen more often. Some cars offer full autonomous driving, which isn’t really allowed yet in certain locations. But what does this mean for the industry and what is it going to do to cost, jobs in the industry and people’s lives in general? Most would say it’s a brilliant technology, once proven safe and secure. 


A lot of truckers are feeling a little nervous and they have a right to be. Autonomous technology is going to completely change the trucking industry. The thing with autonomous tech is that it excels on long, straight rows, which is where trucking usually takes place. Soon, semi truck automatic transmission may be the standard as they gear towards autonomous tech.

The issue here is that when laws are passed saying the driver no longer needs to be present in the vehicle, a lot of truckers may lose their jobs. The technology isn’t there yet. Autonomous can be used, but the driver has to stay behind the wheel and the laws around this are a little murky as each country has differing laws. Even so, a lot of truckers have been off studying courses in automated tech to give them avenues for other jobs when the big change eventually happens.

Lots of people take trains instead of driving. The reason being that they can be far more productive in the train than they could behind a wheel. They can sit at a table, look over papers, read, check emails and use their laptop. It could all change. If a car can be fully autonomous, there’s nothing stopping people being productive from their car.

They press go, boot the laptop up and turn it off when they eventually get to their destination. This may hurt the transport industry with less people using busses and trains, maybe even taxis. If these cars are fully electric, there may be no reason to leave them on the drive too, especially with no tax on emissions. The working at home chance, brought on by Covid-19, may stop this happening, but in this case public transport isn’t being used anyway. 


Delivery could change too…with drivers getting a little nervous. If cars can drive themselves, all that needs to happen is someone put the parcel in at once end, and the recipient to take it out at the other. It gets a little more futuristic. Companies like Amazon have been trialling drone delivery, meaning parcels are dropped off on porches and gardens. It’s an unbelievable step, but one which could change the delivery landscape forever. Transporting goods will never be the same. Couriers may just be the next price for progress. At the moment these advances are held back by stuttering technology. However, as 5G technology begins to roll out autonomous tech can learn faster and adapt even faster than humans in most cases.

Photo Credit: Tesla

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